For my dog, upon her seventh birthday
She does not run as fast as she once did.
Still, her legs swing like furry pendulums,
Tiny chest seeming to graze the ground as
She sprints after a wayward tennis ball.
The sound of knocking at the door used to
Make her leap down from her favorite spot.
These days it takes more to coax her from this
Paradise, that sun-warmed patch on the bed
Where she snoozes through the day, waking when
Tantalizing smells from the backyard find
Their way up into the upstairs window.
She wrinkles her small damp nose and wonders.